Fresno resident Daniel Garcia, 53, has been arrested in connection with the 1985 killing of 21-year-old Saba Girmai. Garcia was linked to the case through DNA evidence, according to Mountain View police. He was arrested and charged with homicide on January 4 and is due to be arraigned today in Palo Alto.
Officials say a passerby spotted a woman’s body in a Shoreline Boulevard supermarket dumpster on January 18, 1985 and immediately notified police. Investigators identified the body as being Girmai, who was known to frequent the San Jose area.
Despite an extensive investigation, police were unable to uncover any leads until January 12, 2010, when the district attorney’s crime lab was able to develop a DNA profile from the victim’s fingernails. The resulting profile matched Garcia, officials say. The case was revisited in 2011 by Mountain View police and the newly-created district attorney Cold Case Unit.
Garcia was arrested last week after a lengthy interview with authorities.
“Although there is still more investigative work to be done, the successful outcome of this decades-long investigation was only possible through the hard work and dedication of many investigators and law enforcement agencies,” Mountain View Police Chief Scott Vermeer said.
“Hopefully this will help bring some closure to Ms. Girmai’s family. We never forget about unsolved murder cases and continuously seek out new technology and new leads to help us solve them.”